ZANZIBAR-based political parties yesterday asked the government to put the Indian Ocean’s islands under three-week quarantine in efforts to quell the deadly corona virus.
“We, leaders of political parties in Zanzibar, are, in good faith, advising the government to impose a 21-day quarantine to ensure the fatal COVID-19 virus does not spread further,” Demokrasia Makini Secretary General, Ameir Hassan Ameir read the joint statement on behalf of 12 political party leaders.
The leaders pleaded with the Ministry of Health to spray all crowded places and offices to protect Zanzibaris against the virus that has destabilised the world.
They asked wananchi to remain calm during this trying period and observe all directives issued by health experts and government leaders.
The politicians commended the Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi, for voluntarily observing a 14-day selfisolation after returning from a trip abroad.
They urged all public leaders to emulate Ambassador Iddi by taking precautionary measures upon return from their foreign trips, especially after visiting Corona hard-hit countries.
In their joint declaration before reporters here, the political leaders censured hate speeches by some misguided politicians particularly now that the country is heading to the general elections later this year.
“We condemn in the strongest terms statements by ACTWazalendo National Chairman (Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad), accusing Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) of colluding with the House of Representatives to enact the law that would bar him from standing for the presidency,” Mr Hassan said.
The leaders dismissed as baseless claims that ZEC, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi and the revolutionary government were conspiring to disrupt peaceful and harmonious 2020 general elections.
“The ACT National Chairman has on different occasions unjustifiably accused CCM of organising ‘hooligan groups’ to sabotage his party,” the leaders’ statement read in part, imploring him to embrace civilized politics.
The leaders condemned all individuals who attempted to intentionally disrupt the issuance of national IDs to Zanzibar residents as well as registration and verification of eligible voters in the permanent voter register.
They applauded President Ali Mohamed Shein for his prompt intervention to ensure that the exercise was conducted smoothly to allow free and fair democratic elections later this year.
The leaders described the current ZEC as the “best and highly independent,” saying: “Before it (ZEC) was formed, President Shein convened a meeting of all national leaders of political parties and we aired our views, which were fully accommodated in the commission’s formation.”
They called for another referendum on the fate of the ‘national unity government’ system, saying they were not satisfied with the pace of involvement of all political parties in building the nation.
The leaders faulted the 2000 referendum, which provided only CCM and Civic United Front (CUF) with an opportunity to participate in running government affairs.
Parties behind the joint statement are Demokrasia Makini, Sauti ya Umma, United Democratic Party, National League for Democracy, Democratic Party, Tanzania Labour Party, Chama Cha Kijamii, Tanzania Democratic Alliance, Alliance for Farmers Party and the ruling CCM.